Cape Coral hostage standoff involving teens ends safely
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - An armed standoff near the 4100 block of Southwest Santa Barbara Place involving two teenagers ended safety this afternoon in Cape Coral.
"This was a very dangerous situation," said Cape Coral Lt. Tony Sizemore.
Cape Coral police swarmed the area when a 16-year-old male armed with a gun held a 15-year-old female acquaintance hostage at gunpoint. The standoff lasted more than an hour.
According to police, it all started when a 16-year-old who was skipping school and the teen's father sent a family friend to check on his son at their home.
When confronted, the teen threatened the family friend with a baseball outside the home then ran inside, grabbed a gun, and took the 15-year-old girl hostage.
That's when the family friend called police.
"Our officers set up and began negotiating with him immediately," said Sizemore.
Cape Coral Police established a perimeter around the home and shut down surrounding streets. Due to the seriousness of the situation, the SWAT Team and snipers were called in. SWAT Team members took over the perimeter and hostage negotiators attempted to resolve the situation.
Neighbors watched as the suspect tried convince the girl he wasn't armed.
"He walked through and was just banging on the sliding glass door saying, 'Let me in, let me in,'" said neighbor Jamie Szarfinski. "He said, 'I don't have a gun. I don't have a gun.' The girl was trying to leave and he said, 'No you need to stay here.'"
The armed teen eventually got inside the home. It wasn't long before cops forced their way in stopping the standoff.
David Vargas, a neighbor, watched as police caught the teen by surprise.
"They just went with the battering ram and went through the sliding glass door," said Vargas. "And all you could hear was, 'Get on the ground, get on the ground.' And it was over."
The standoff ended peacefully, according to police, who say it could have been a deadly situation.
"There were no injuries," said Sizemore, who said it ended "very peaceful, very quick and everything you want in a situation like this."
The 16-year-old was safely taken into custody without incident. He is facing charges of false imprisonment and aggravated assault.
The 15-year-old girl was taken to Health Park to be checked out as a precaution.